Everstone signs franchisee agreement to open Italy’s Lavazza cafes in India

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Lavazza is the third foreign brand the private equity firm Everstone has signed for India after Burger King and Subway

New Delhi: Private equity firm Everstone Capital has signed a franchisee agreement with Italy-based Luigi Lavazza S.p.A to open Lavazza-branded coffee chain in India, according to two people familiar with the development.

One of the persons said Everstone and Lavazza have signed the deal several weeks ago. He said Everstone will also sell Lavazza coffee vending machines in India as part of the agreement.

Everstone already runs US-based food chains of Burger King and sandwich joint Subway in India and Lavazza would compliment its business with a coffee chain being added to its portfolio, the second person said. He said Everstone already added BK Coffee in various Burger King outlets and the company could now introduce Lavazza coffee in various Subway stores.

Everstone spokesperson Prashant Desai, head of strategy and investors relations of the company, did not respond to an email sent on Friday and he also did not respond to calls and WhatsApp messages. IndiaRetailing has written to Lavazza and will include their response whenever it comes.

This would be a re-entry for Lavazza in coffee chain business in India after it has shuttered Lavazza-branded chain in India several years ago.

In 2014, the Italian group had also sold Barista Coffee chain to Carnation Hospitality for Rs 100 crore to focus on its profit making Fresh & Honest coffee brewing machine business.

Barista has changed ownerships four times amid major struggle to turn the brand profitable.

Lately India’s coffee chains business has been looking up to Starbucks and new players like Canada-based Tim Hortons, expanding aggressively. Starbucks has already rolled out more than 300 outlets in India and Tim Hortons plans to open more than 100 outlets in the next four years.

Everstone runs Burger King chain in India. Last year, Everstone signed a master franchisee agreement with sandwich chain Subway for India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.